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The development of geomorphic and hydraulic complexity within streams and its influence on fish communities following glacial recession in Glacier Bay, Alaska

Klaar, Megan (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

Studies of landscape development via primary successional processes are an important area of research for understanding how landscapes evolve into stable, diverse ecosystems. This research sought to assess how geomorphic and hydraulic complexity alter as streams develop following glacial recession. Investigations revealed that younger streams were dominated by fast flowing geomorphic units such as rapids and riffles with little hydraulic or landscape diversity. As stream age increased, however, slower flowing habitat units such as glides and pools became more dominant, resulting in increased geomorphic, hydraulic and riverscape diversity. Determination of these changes in hydromorphic complexity which occur as streams develop, twinned with an assessment of the role of coarse woody debris in creating such complexity at the reach and microscale levels revealed the importance of coarse woody debris in driving these changes. Coarse woody debris was found to influence the development of biocomplexity and interaction between stream, terrestrial and floodplain environments. These changes in geomorphic and hydraulic complexity result in the creation and maintenance of instream habitat which biota such as juvenile Pacific salmonids may utilise.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Milner, Alexander and Maddock, Ian
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Geography
Subjects:GB Physical geography
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:648
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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